Hi, I'm Parisa and Fluffwear is my knitwear label. I designed my first sweater, the diamond aran, in 2017 and officially launched as a sole trader in 2019. I specialise in made to order knitwear in one timeless capsule collection. This digital space is here to help you choose your very special piece. We have come to be known and loved for our signature diamond sweaters and fantastical rainbow spectrum of hand dyed colours including confetti.
The story of Fluffwear
Like many other parents, my awareness of harmful toxins and chemicals in our environment grew when my son came into the world. Aware of the monumental damage fast fashion causes to our beautiful planet. The exploitation of the world's poorest has so many devastating layers, from the chemicals used to process fabrics and dyes running into water sources to large corporations bankrupting local farmers. People becoming poorer and sicker and the total disruption of the Eco-cycle. I wanted to knit as much of my own clothing for my son so that I could know exactly what is on his skin and that these pieces did not incorporate any part of the harmful process of fast fashion. My partner found a local suppliers of wool and mineral based dyes. I see the process through start to finish and to know that I can trust all the elements that make up the final garment. The result is what you see, a totally unique and beautiful product that is made to last forever.
I have designed these pieces with both traditional practice and modern aesthetic in mind.
We source our merino wool from two EU based spinnerys. Our superwash merino is processed in the UK. I chose this option due to their strict standards and processing methods: "EU enforced very strict laws and any by-products must be removed from the water before it is discharged into the water systems. The mill we get our merino processed is accredited with the EU Flower and OEKO-TEX 100 and runs a state-of-the-art effluent treatment plant." Our non-superwash is sourced from Germany. The suppliers source their wool from various small farms in Argentina, Uruguay and Europe (various sources due to the yearly fluctuation in yield). Applicable to both our superwash and non superwash options; We use only Mulesing free wool. The farmers/partners of my suppliers simply must ensure a high quality of care to their animals to get the best chances of yielding a high supply and quality of wool and therefore getting the best price to guarantee their income. This is often their main sourse of income and their partnerships are built on years of trust with my spinnery/yarn suppliers.
The first process in our manufacturing is dyeing the yarn. Since I do this myself, I can tell you all there is to possibly know about my process. I use mineral pigment for the colour and vinegar to fix the colour. It's about as non-toxic and non-wasteful as it can possibly be. Based on our made-to-order model I am only dyeing the yarn for the orders that are placed. I don't know how much water usage this is exactly and how I could measure but this doesn't touch the sides of any other clothing or fabric manufacturer. I never pour water away with colour in the water - this is why you will sometimes see pieces sold with one-off colours - using the remnants of dye left over from another batch. Some of our pigments are organic and some are not. What is the colour pigment? Getting into the science, pigments that are used to dye animal fibers are called acid dyes. Dharmatrading explains: "acid dyes available to the home dyer are non-caustic and very safe to use. A few are even safe enough to eat...For you chemistry buffs, Acid Dyes are so called because they contain acidic molecular groups such as -S03H and work in a low pH environment with a mildly acidic "fixative" like white vinegar or citric acid as mentioned above. Acid Dyes are used to dye protein fibers (and nylon) which are all made out of proteins with amino groups -NH2 and the bond between the dye and fiber occurs between the basic amino groups and acidic -S03H groups. Acid dyes are thought to fix to fibers by hydrogen bonding, Van der Waals forces and ionic bonding."
It began with just me knitting 10 pieces a month for my customers, it was as much as I could manage alongside the yarn dye process. Slowly I started to increase and work with two more knitters local to me in southern Sweden. As demand continued to increase, I sought help from a local initiative to match new businesses with suppliers within Europe. I was matched with my team of around 15 hand knitters in Bosnia and Herzegovina making us approximately 17 full time and part time knitters working on Fluffwear pieces. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a relatively untapped source of talented artisans and you may think back to the war that took place between 1992 and 1995. It was due to the war that my team of knitters took up their practice. They knitted to busy their hands and keep their minds focussed on the ritual of knitting which eased their suffering from the monumental loses they faced. Many of them lost their husbands and sons. Their stories are hard and raw but I think it's important to acknowledge and relay to you the reasons they have given me for their route to their craft. Their work for Fluffwear is their main source of income. The fees are set by them and I pay for each piece they make, full price - even if it does not meet quality standards. I am able to do this because I find that I can sell pieces that do not meet the standard at a reduced rate (with full transparency).